World

Were Jihadists Responsible For Security At Montreal Airport?

Reuters/Eric Gaillard

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

According to a report in the French-language Quebec media Tuesday, four employees of the company responsible for security at Montreal’s Trudeau International Airport may be security threats themselves.

Both the Journal de Montréal and Quebec’s TVA news station say the security officers were investigated for frequenting pro-ISIS websites, promoting jihadist propaganda on their Facebook pages and for investing an inordinate number of hours scanning documents explaining how to make a homemade bomb.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday, “When issues come to light we deal with them in a responsible way, we look into what happened and how we can ensure that Canadians remain safe in air travel.”

The airport in question was named after Trudeau’s father, Pierre Trudeau, who also served as prime minister.

In Quebec City, the province’s public security minister said he was investigating the reports.

“There are serious issues that have been raised, which is why I questioned the federal Transport Ministry,” Martin Coiteux said. “But there are police on the scene and I have assured myself that they are well aware and are following the situation closely.”

“The first thing I did was to assure myself that police services were following the situation closely, and that was confirmed to me,” Martin Coiteux said in Quebec City.

“Following closely means taking all means to assure the public’s safety.”

The security company, Aéroports de Montréal, is insisting the airport is “among the most secure locations there is.” It has not been responding to interview requests.

According to the report, at least one employee, who worked in restricted areas that included the airport’s runways and airplanes, was known to have made comments about the November 2015 terrorist attacks in in Paris responsible for the deaths of 130 people.

It has not been confirmed whether the employee in question is still working in those areas or has been reassigned.

That Quebec television report demonstrated how an airport employee with an special area access card and hidden camera boarded a parked airplane without being searched.

Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) maintains that all employees who work in restricted areas are subject to random searches and biometric identification and stated, “At present, ADM has not been informed of any specific threat.”

That’s not washing with Conservative Public Safety Critic Tony Clement, who says he found the media reports “deeply troubling” and suggested the federal government needs to ensure Canadians that whomever operates airport security must be subject to a uniform and stringent standard.

“This is a reminder of the need to be ever vigilant against the threat of radical Islamic terrorism,” Clement said in a statement.

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